The New Plague

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Chapter 10

Matt had sent out a scavenger party to take a look at a warehouse just down the road from the mall, the boys had come back with news that the whole place was loaded with guns. The scavengers erupted in laughter.

“What’s so funny?” He asked.

One of the boys looked at him, “the warehouse is loaded with Nerf guns. But there’s enough for an army.”

He cracked up with laughter again.

Nerf guns, Matt thought, he remembered watching a YouTube clip that showed you how to modify Nerf bullets to be deadly.

He thought he could still do it and sent a larger group of scavengers to bring back as much as they could carry in one load, back to the workshop.

The Hunters had settled into the day to day routine of the mall kids, quickly. They had gone out and brought back punching bags, more shop dummies and plenty of other this to practise fight with, so that they could keep their skills up. They had also completed several tasks that Rick’s fighters couldn’t do by themselves, like bringing in more cars and they even managed to clean out and barricade the nearby fuel station.

Ethan was furious after finding out that four of his boys had left and taken some guns and ammo as well. He quickly had sent out a squad of his best fighters and they had come back a day later with reports of a heavily fortified shopping mall. Typical, he thought, trust his boys to go off with whoever looked more powerful than him, he’ll show them his true strength. Make them pay for taking the priceless guns and ammunition. He had assembled his fighting squad in the centre of the camp, with the strongest fighter in the second line, the sprinters in the first and the people with the guns and projectile weapons at the back. He wasn’t aiming for a war, he just wanted to march up to the mall to show off his strength so that he could get the guns back and make sure that these kids didn’t mess with his crew again. They were half way down Ticker Street when they ran into a group of desperate grown-ups. They were very weak and slow to react to the strong fighters at the front of the group. Within five minutes the fight was over and they were on their way to the mall again. Ethan had organised for a group of snipers to go into a nearby building in case things go bad and they needed cover fire. Ethan smiled, he wanted a fight, he wanted to make them pay.

Kyle was up on the roof again as usual, but today things certainly weren’t usual; there were no infected to be seen, and he could see an approaching army. At first he thought they were a group of infected but with a quick look through his rifle’s scope, he saw that they were a group of heavily armed kids. The first row of them carried handheld weapons like axes and spears and the occasional sword, but to his horror he saw that nearly every other kid were carrying guns. There was a tightly packed group at the back where kids in full combat uniform were crowded around a guy wearing a general’s uniform, he must be in charge of these soldiers. Kyle raced down to tell Rick what was happening and soon there were kids rushing to every deck and down to the car park, while Rick, Jack, Kyle, Butch and some of the skirmishers went up to the lookout.
Rick looked at them with a fearful expression, “Whatever happens, we don’t want to get into a fight. Even though we outnumber them, they have much more firepower then we do, and the little kids would get slaughtered.” Everyone agreed except Butch who was staying very quiet, Rick then headed down to the car park while Kyle waved around a bed sheet that he thought would make a good makeshift truce flag. Rick then called out to the army that had assembled out the front of the gate. He shouted something, but Kyle couldn’t hear him from the lookout, he guessed Rick was calling to the leader to come and talk with him. The boy in the general’s uniform came forward with his little group of bodyguards. He exchanged words with Rick, and, more than once, made rude or angry gestures. In the end Rick handed over three guns and a few packs of precious ammunition. Just as they were leaving, the army was attacked by a hoard of infected, who had seemingly come out of nowhere. The group made a mad run back from where they had come from, with the hoard at their heels. This group of infected were particularly fast and sure of themselves, like the perfect pack of wolves. Rick hurried back up to the lookout, “All they wanted was some guns and ammo, and for us to not mess around with them anymore and they also wanted the boys that left them to be executed but I turned that down. It’s a pity though; they would’ve been a powerful ally.” He sat down on one of the benches and sighed. “You handled that better than I would have.” said Butch. It was the first time he’d said anything since the army was spotted. Rick laughed, “No way, B-man, you’re a pretty good diplomat when you want to be.” Butch looked at him seriously, “Ethan’s my brother.” He said solemnly. Rick’s expression changed to pity for him, “Oh, Butch, man, I-I’m sorry.” Butch laughed, nervously, “Nah, I always knew he’d end up a leader, but man, he’s really got himself a crew.” Butch mumbled to himself as he walked away. Rick put his head in his hands, “Man, we’re in for some serious business.”
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